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Big Revolution - Are you hyperaware?

Welcome to Friday's newsletter. Enjoy! — Martin from Big Revolution
May 31 · Issue #433 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to Friday’s newsletter. Enjoy!
— Martin from Big Revolution

Big things you need to know today
  • Google is cracking down on Chrome extensions that collect far more data than they need. Many more extensions will need to have privacy policies, too. This is sensible stuff that brings Chrome extensions up to date with modern expectations.
  • Microsoft is launching a subscription service for PC games. It will be branded ‘Xbox Game Pass’ but won’t be compatible with the Xbox subscription service of the same name. More details are expected at E3 in mid-June.
  • The UK’s first 5G service has launched in parts of six cities. As you’d expect, it’s fast.
  • Netflix is increasing its UK prices by up to 20%. Only the £5.99 basic plan is spared.
The big thought
Credit: Tsolmon Naidandorj on Unsplash
Credit: Tsolmon Naidandorj on Unsplash
Are you hyperaware?
“Two things are now simultaneously true: Crime is at or near historic lows, and the average person can now be fed a stream of every single 911 call in the most populous city in the United States. We are in a new era of hyperawareness, and perception is now trumping reality in a powerful new way.”
That’s a quote from an interesting BuzzFeed News article about the effect real-time awareness of crimes as they happen has on our perception of the crime rate. I like that term ‘hyperawareness,’ because it applies more broadly, too.
Thanks to push notifications from breaking news apps, and the fact I check Twitter far too often, I feel like I’m hyperaware about political news. It can be draining to soak up every little quote, mis-quote, slip-up, rumour, and announcement — especially when most of it won’t be relevant for the rest of the day, let alone next week or next month.
'Twitter is eroding your intelligence. Now there’s data to prove it,’ said a Washington Post article headline yesterday. It’s easy to read this in the context of 'hyperawareness,’ and nod sagely. But you’d be wrong to.
As Zeynep Tufekci wrote about that article, “The only thing here is a clickbait headline trying to go viral on Twitter/Facebook. tl;dr they used Twitter for an inappropriate purpose (teaching literary analysis!) and surprise, surprise it didn’t fare as well as an appropriate method (proper classroom instruction.)”
The lesson here is it’s not tweets — or indeed real-time updates in general — that are eroding our intelligence. If anything’s harming us it’s the way we use these products.
Lightly skimming real-time information can be useful. but don’t fool yourself that gorging on as many updates as you can is a valid alternative to taking time to properly understand something.
As we come up to the middle of 2019, I’m setting myself a mid-year resolution (yes, that’s a thing because I made it up) to read with less breadth and more depth. That includes allowing fewer news alerts on my phone and paying less attention to the nuggets of information scrolling down my screen in TweetDeck.
You can’t know everything, and you shouldn’t. So let’s end the blight of hyperawareness.
One big read
Metadata is the biggest little problem plaguing the music industry Metadata is the biggest little problem plaguing the music industry
How musicians and songwriters lose out financially because the metadata that accompanies digital music releases is often wrong or incomplete.
One big tweet
Click through for a thread looking at how those in the tech industry and the journalists covering them often see things completely differently.
Alex Konrad
You know you've leveled up to your final form as a Silicon Valley thought leader when you wake up one morning and are now a Media Expert
That’s all for today...
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